American Sociological Association

“How Far Is Too Far?”: Gender, Emotional Capital, and Children’s Public School Assignments

The authors analyze how gender and other individual and family characteristics shape attitudes toward children’s school assignments. Using a mixed-methods approach, the authors analyze preferences for (1) diversity- and (2) neighborhood-based schools and three new dimensions of negative emotional capital: (3) parental challenge from student reassignments, (4) perceived dangers to children from reassignments, and (5) the uncertainty reassignment entails. Quantitative results indicate that emotional capital is highly gendered, with mothers perceiving more challenges, dangers, and uncertainty than fathers. We interpret these findings within the context of the division of household labor and how gendered work arrangements are reproduced at home

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Toby L. Parcel, Joshua A. Hendrix, and Andrew J. Taylor



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